COVID-19 has brought most of the cruise industry to a halt as cruise lines including Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines halted operations on March 14 when the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a ‘no sail’ order, barring ships from sailing through September 30, 2020. Cruise experts in the Caribbean believe that the cruise industry cannot survive without the Caribbean and that the current pause is an excellent opportunity to present a unified front and negotiate a different relationship with the industry from a position of strength. The hope is that such negotiations will see the cruise lines making a greater contribution to the sustainable development of the region.
As part of its advocacy role, Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) UWI, Mona, hosted an online Public Forum on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 under the theme “Cruise Shipping & Tours in the Caribbean: Pivoting for Success & Sustainable Growth” to explore the rebalancing of the relationship in favour of the lines making a bigger contribution to the Caribbean destinations.
Featuring a high level panel which included Dr. Michelle McLeod, Tourism Lecturer, MSBM and member of the UWI COVID-19 team, Ms. Julie Anne Burrowes, Cruise Advisor, Caribbean Village, and Dr. Lee Bailey, CEO, Caribbean Cruise Shipping and Tours Ltd and moderated by Dr. Andrew Spencer, Deputy Executive Director, MSBM and former Executive Director, Tourism Development Product Development Company (TPDCo); attendees were treated to a raft of recommendations for post Pandemic opportunities for the industry.